Good news as Rio+20 begins

Most of the news from the global summit is grim indeed, as most of the pledges countries made at the first Earth summit in Rio de Janeiro two decades ago have not been kept. But here’s some good news from the New York Times–an op-ed by a Swedish energy specialist and two economists at the Environmental Defense Fund. They believe that “the seeds of an energy revolution are being sown,” noting that solar and wind energy are developing faster than anyone predicted. They don’t downplay the challenge, given the even faster rise in fossil fuels. They call for a price or cap on carbon emissions and for subsidies to go to renewables such as solar energy.

As reasons to be optimistic by Rio + 30, the writers point to the European Union’s cap on carbon pollution, a cap-and-trade system in 7 cities in China (including Beijing), India’s coal tax, Australia’s tax on carbon, and South Korea’s direct carbon cap. It’s not happening just in other countries; they close their list of innovative entities with California, which “is readying America’s first comprehensive cap-and-trade system to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, combined with direct subsidies like its successful Solar Initiative.”

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